The duties of career firefighters vary with the size of the fire department and the population of the city in which they are employed. However, each firefighter's individual responsibilities are well defined and clear-cut. In every fire department there are divisions of labor among firefighters. For example, when their department goes into action, firefighters know whether they are to rescue people caught in fires, raise ladders, connect hoses to water hydrants, or attempt to break down doors, windows, or walls with fire axes so that other firefighters can enter the area with water hoses.

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